Functional asymmetries in the stepping response of the human newborn:a kinematic approach

Domellöf, Erik and Rönnqvist, Louise and Hopkins, Brian (2007) Functional asymmetries in the stepping response of the human newborn:a kinematic approach. Experimental Brain Research, 177 (3). pp. 324-335. ISSN 0014-4819

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In order to investigate subtle expressions of functional asymmetries in newborn leg movements, kinematic registrations were made on a sample of 40 healthy fullterm newborn infants during performance of the stepping response. Time–position data were collected from markers attached to the hip, knee and ankle joints of the left and right leg, and movements of both legs recorded simultaneously. Findings included evident side differences in terms of smoother trajectories of the right leg as a consequence of less movement segmentation compared to the left leg. Additionally, analyses of intralimb coordination revealed side differences with regard to stronger ankle–knee couplings and smaller phase shifts in the right leg. The findings suggest that asymmetries in newborn stepping responses are present in terms of spatio-temporal parameters and intralimb coordination. No evidence of a lateral preference in terms of frequency of the first foot moved was found. The present study adds new understanding to the lateralized attributes of the stepping response in the human newborn and as such points to new directions of research on the nature of laterality in the future

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Journal Article
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Experimental Brain Research
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22 Jul 2014 08:50
Last Modified:
20 Sep 2023 00:37